RULES & REGULATIONS
The information below is for the 2016 UTMF.
- In order to participate in this race, you must fully understand and agree to the following conditions and responsibilities.
- You are required to abide by the municipal regulations and Japanese laws and are expected to conduct yourself in a responsible manner at all times during the race.
- Both the UTMF and STY are races that require racers to run through mountainous terrain both during the day and at night. While the race organizer will try its best to minimize unforeseen risks, it is ultimately your responsibility to avoid any dangers and to ensure your own safety during the race. As such, you are expected to have the technical skills, knowledge, equipment, physical endurance, and self-management skills to deal with any issues that may arise during this type of race including severe weather conditions (e.g. low temperatures, strong winds, rain and snow). Your actions and any outcomes that may result are your responsibility.
- The race course will be marked with marking tapes and signs. However, you are responsible for finding and following these course markings on your own and for staying on the race course. You are also responsible for finding your own way back using the course maps provided if you end up straying off the race course.
- You are responsible for checking the official updates provided by the race organizer both before and during the race. Please follow the instructions provided.
- You must always respect the environment and other people with whom we share the trails.
- The race organizer will prepare the race course, equipment and where necessary, place staff along the course in order to properly execute the race. The organizer will also provide emergency and medical support during the race.
- All aid stations will have an emergency medical tent where there will be a doctor and nurse on standby to provide medical assistance. Please note that only emergency first-aid can be provided at these tents.
RACE RULES & REGULATIONS
1. RACER RESPONSIBILITIES & CONDITIONS
This section outlines the rules and regulations put forth by the race. Please read through this section carefully. If you do not abide by these rules, you may be immediately disqualified or have a penalty of 1, 3 or 6 hours added to your race time. Participation in future races may also be denied.
2. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION RULES
- The use of trekking poles is prohibited on both the UTMF and STY courses. Picking up and using tree branches as trekking poles is also not allowed.
- Sleeping along the course is prohibited. This is because it will have a large impact on the environment and may also mistakenly lead others to think that you require emergency medical assistance.
- You must stay on the trail at all times. Do not step off the trail to shortcut corners. There will also be several "no passing" sections in environmentally restricted areas where you will not be allowed to pass each other.
- Picking up or damaging plants, animals, fungi and rocks found along the race course as well as within the overall race area are prohibited.
- Do not throw garbage along the course.
- Please use the toilets located at each aid station. Also, please carry and use a portable/disposable toilet and use it if you are unable to wait. Do not throw away toilet paper along the trails. All toilet paper must be carried out with you.
- Please wash the soles of your shoes to clean off any dirt/seeds/vegetation before the start of the race. During the race, you will also be required to clean the soles of your shoes using the brushes provided at the aid stations when re-entering the race course. This is to prevent the spread of invasive species/non-native seeds and to prevent vegetation from urban areas from being carried up into the environmentally sensitive mountain regions.
3. CONSIDERATION FOR OTHERS
- If during the race, you encounter another runner/staff member who is injured or sick and unable to move on their own, please give priority to assisting that person and call race headquarters for emergency assistance. The emergency telephone number will be written on your race bib.
- If you come across a runner who is lying down or hunched over along the course, please check to see if they are alright. If the person requires emergency assistance, please give priority to helping that person by calling race headquarters for assistance.
- The race course is not on private property owned by the race and will not be closed off to the general public. The trails must be shared with the general public (e.g. hikers) at all times. There will be “no passing sections”set up along the race course where you will be prohibited from passing other both racers and hikers. In areas where passing is allowed, please do so in a safe place where the trail is wide. Please be considerate and slow down and walk when passing other people. Remember to call out to the person to let your presence be known.
- Please be careful not to damage property located along the race course.
- Parts of the race course passes through privately-owned land and National Defense Force training grounds that are normally prohibited from entry. When you are in these special sections, please make sure you stay within the boundaries specified by the race.
- The course also passes through residential areas. Please do not make loud noises or sounds when passing through these areas. Also put away your bear bells and prevent them from ringing when passing through "no-bear bells" sections.
4. AUTHORITY GIVEN TO EMERGENCY & MEDICAL STAFF
Doctors and rescue staff have the authority to stop a runner from continuing the race if he/she believes a racer is unfit to safely continue. If you are told to stop, you will be required to remove and return your IC chip and your race bib will be marked to show that you have dropped out of the race/disqualified.
5. IC CHIPS & TIME MEASUREMENT
- Runners are kept track of using IC chips and sensor mats. The race will be tracking racer times, number of racers out on the course as well as whether or not you've entered/left aid stations and checkpoints.
- You must always have an IC chip attached to each of your shoes (both the right foot and left foot).
- Please hand-in your IC chips when you finish racing.
- If you are disqualified or decide to drop out of the race, please return your IC chips at the aid station.
6. CUTOFF TIMES
- There will be two separate cutoff times at each aid station - one at the entrance and one at the exit. (This is a safety measure put in place to ensure racers coming into the aid station close to the entrance cutoff time have sufficient time to replenish their food/drink supplies before heading out on the course again.) You will not be allowed to continue the race if you don't make either of these cutoff times.
- You can re-enter an aid station after leaving but please notify race staff and use the dedicated pathway to go back in. Once you re-enter, you must leave the aid station before the exit cutoff time in order to continue racing. You will not be allowed to continue the race if you don't make the exit cutoff time.
- Cutoff times may be changed due to weather and course conditions. Changes will be announced on the official bulletin boards at the aid stations and a text message will be sent via SMS to the phone number you've provided.
7. RACE COURSE MARKERS AND SIGNS
- The race course will be marked using marking tapes and signs. Marking tapes will be placed every 100m (approximately) along the course and extra markings will be placed in sections where it may be easy to get lost. If you do not see a marking tape after proceeding for over 200m, it means you've gone off course. Please turn back and return to the race course.
(Note: Permission has been obtained from the appropriate land owners and property managers to put up temporary signs and marking tapes).
- The race organization will be putting forth its best effort to minimize any unforeseen risks along the course. Dangerous areas will be marked with signs and ropes in order to reduce risk. Where deemed necessary, staff and security guards will also be positioned along the course to ensure racer safety and direct the flow of traffic. Please follow all instructions provided.
- There will be staff and security guards standing along the course to help direct the way, however it is your responsibility to follow the course markers and signs to stay on the correct route.
- There will be a "no-passing" section as well as other sections with specific rules/conditions. Please abide by these rules.
- Once the race starts, any information that needs to be communicated to the racers will be posted up on the official bulletin board at the aid stations and water stations. Important information will also be sent to you via SMS text message to the phone number you've provided to the race. It is the racer's responsibility to check the official bulletin boards at the aid and water stations as well as your SNS messages.
- ・MARKING TAPE
8. DROPPING OUT OF THE RACE
- If you feel that you can no longer continue and decide to drop out of the race, you must notify race staff. Once you've dropped out of the race, you will not be able to re-start.
- Dropping out at an aid station
Please tell race staff that you want to drop out of the race and return your IC chips.
- Dropping out along the race course
You may only drop out of the race along the race course if it is an emergency and/or you are injured and cannot move on your own. In such a case, please contact the emergency race headquarters immediately for assistance. Otherwise, please walk to the next aid station on your own and notify race staff there.
9. GEAR & EQUIPMENT
The weight of your equipment must be a minimum of 2kg at the start of the race and upon leaving each aid station. Your equipment must weigh a minimum of 1kg at all times along the race course.
There will be an equipment check during the race. If you do not have your mandatory equipment, you will be disqualified from the race.
There will be an equipment check before the race to ensure you have all the mandatory gear but it is your own responsibility to decide whether your mandatory clothing/gear provides adequate warmth and rain protection during the race.
Please make sure that you know how to use all of your equipment before the race.
The following is a mandatory equipment list.
MANDATORY EQUIPMENT (These are items that must be carried with you at all times during the race)
- Detailed course map - You must print out the "Detailed Course Map" from the race website and carry it with you at all times. (*1)
- Mobile phone - You must be able to make/receive calls in Japan with this mobile phone. Save the emergency phone number for race headquarters on your phone (the phone number will be written on your race bib). Turn on the phone number display function and make sure your phone is fully charged before the race. Please ensure you can receive SMS text messages on your phone as emergency information will be sent to you via SMS during the race.
- Personal cup for hot/cold drinks at aid stations (minimum 150cc size). Paper cups will not be provided at the aid stations.
- Water - You must carry a minimum of 1L of water at the start line and upon leaving each aid station.
- Two lights with replacement batteries for both lights. Remember that battery life will decline in cold temperatures.
- Flashing reflector light - Put this light on your backpack during the race so that cars will be able to see you at night.
- Survival blanket (minimum size of 130cm x 200cm)
- Adhesive elastic tape/band (minimum length of 80cm x 3cm) (*2)
- Portable/disposable toilet (*3)
- Waterproof rain jacket with hood & rain pants (both made of waterproof and breathable membrane such as Gore-Tex or something similar; seams must be seam-sealed)
- First aid kit (such as band aids, disinfectant, etc)
- Overseas travel/accident insurance policy (*4)
- Race bib and IC Chips (these will be given to you at the race)
- Poison remover
- Backpack to carry all your mandatory equipment and other recommended items (see below).
- *1 Starting this year, course maps downloaded onto your SmartPhone will not be accepted as mandatory gear. This is because Smartphones can run out of batteries, not get a signal, etc. thus preventing you from being able to use the maps during an emergency. This year, you must print out and carry with you all the Detailed Course Maps and make sure you waterproof them (e.g. put it in a clear plastic bag).
- *2 Bring strong tape that can be used during emergencies such as injuries (e.g. broken bones) as well as emergency repairs (e.g broken equipment)
- *3 If you use yours during the race, replacements are available at the aid stations.
- *4 For runners coming from overseas and do not live in Japan, it is strongly recommended that you obtain adequate travel insurance coverage for the duration of your stay as medical/emergency rescue fees can be extremely expensive in Japan.
- * The mandatory equipment list provided here is only the minimum. You will be running in harsh conditions for two days and one night (one day and one night for the STY) so please make sure that you are well-prepared to manage your own safety and well-being and bring additional gear you need to protect yourself.
- * We will strive to dispatch a rescue team to reach a runner who needs assistance due to extreme fatigue or injury on the course within 3 hours. However, it may take much more time if we receive several rescue requests all at once, or if you've strayed off the race course or if the weather conditions are bad. In such cases, it could take more than 6 hours to reach you. Given this, please bring enough clothing and equipment with you to protect yourself from the cold wind and rain for more than 6 hours.
STRONGLY RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT
The mandatory equipment list is not necessarily enough for all racers. What you need differs depending on a racer's skill, physical level, weather during the race, etc. It is up to you to determine what is necessary for you and it is your responsibility to bring additional gear that you will need to safely complete the race. Make sure you've tested all of your gear under sub-zero conditions up in the mountains, in heavy rain and over long runs so that you know for sure whether your gear is sufficient to protect you.
The following is a list of strongly recommended equipment.
- Warm fleece or long sleeve shirt. (*1)
- Warm pants or tights that go down to your ankles. (*2)
- Warm gloves/mittens and warm hat that covers your ears (*3)
- Trail running shoes
- Bear bell (*4)
- Change of clothes
- Pen (writing utensil)
- *1 Warm clothing for the upper body = mid-layer clothing such as fleece jackets, wool sweaters and light-weight down jackets that create a layer of warm air between you and the fabric.
- *2 Warm clothing for the lower body = A. Full-length pants that go down to your ankles. B. Full-length tights that go down to your ankles. C. Short-length tights combined with long-length socks so that your leg is essentially completely covered.
- *3 Wool and polyester knit hat that provides warmth.
- *4 There will be "no bear bell" signs posted before you enter residential areas. You must put away your bear bell (stop your bear bell from ringing) when running through residential and town areas both during the day and at night.
10. HOW TO PUT ON YOUR RACE BIB
If you put your bib on incorrectly, you could be disqualified.
- Please put on your race bib correctly or you may be disqualified.
- Attach a race bib to both the front and back side of your upper body with safety pins or a bib belt. Make sure the race bibs are fully visible at all times and not hidden behind your clothing.
- Do not put the race bib on your lower body, such as on your shorts, tights or pants.
- Do not fold the edges to make the race bib smaller.
11. DROP BAGS
- UTMF racers can prepare one drop bag that can be picked up at the Kodomo-no-Kuni aid station.
- You may leave unneeded items in your drop bag during the race.
- Your drop bag will be transported to the finish line after the cutoff time at Kodomo-no-kuni.
- There are no drop bags for the STY.
12. PROHIBITED ACTIONS
- The use of earphones during the race is not allowed.
- Doping is prohibited. This includes the use of prohibited drugs even if unintentionally taken through the use of medicines such as cold medicines.
- Cheating is prohibited (e.g. using transportation means other than by foot, using substitute runners, and other unlawful actions)
13. RACE ORGANIZATION RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES
The race organizer is responsible for any non-deliberate damage by race participants to property along the race course (e.g. plants and animals, objects, trails, etc.)
14. AID STATIONS & SUPPORTER RULES
- Food and drinks will be provided at the aid stations. Only drinks will be provided at water stations.
- Racers can receive support from a supporter within designated support areas inside aid stations. Only one supporter can enter the designated support area (excluding children under 12 years of age) and only the one supporter may directly/physically assist the racer. The supporter's bib (which will have the same race number as the racer) should be pinned on the supporter's chest and be clearly visible to race staff.
- Each racer will be handed one race supporter bib upon check-in. If lost, this supporter bib cannot be reissued.
- Supporters can only enter and provide support inside the designated support areas. Only racers can enter the official food/drink replenishment areas in the aid station.
- Support cannot be provided anywhere else except the designated support area.
- Only the racer is allowed to pick up food and drinks at the replenishment areas prepared by the race organizer.
- A supporter may only bring into the designated support area one bag with a maximum capacity of 30 liters.
- The designated support areas will have tables and chairs. Supporters may not bring their own tables and chairs into these areas. “Reserving space” by setting up tables/chairs within the support area is also not allowed.
- The designated support area will be shared by many supporters. Supporters may not stay in this area for long periods of time before the arrival of his/her racer. Supporters should be considerate of the other supporters and share the space with others.
- The food and drinks at the aid stations are only for the racers and are not available to the supporters.
- Supporters may not run alongside racers.
- Supporters are prohibited from performing medical services for the racer.
- Supporters must carry all their garbage back home with them. Garbage cannot be thrown out at the aid stations.
- Some of the aid stations prohibit the use of camping stoves/fire.
- Supporters must not shout or make loud noises when cheering on racers when close to towns and residential areas as this may upset the local residents.
- Supporters must abide by the same rules with respect to environmental protection.
- Racers can use the vending machines and stores located along the race course. However, racers must not go off the race course deliberately.
Please refer to the Supporter page for further details regarding racer support.
OTHER IMPORTANT MATTERS REGARDING THE RACE
1. PHOTOGRAPHS, VIDEOS, ARTICLES & RACE RESULTS
- Video/television footage, photos, articles, race results, etc. of racers and supporters may be used and/or shown in newspapers, television, magazines, internet, etc.
- Rights to the footage, photos, articles, results, etc. are owned by the race organization and protected by copyright laws. These items may not be used (for broadcasting, publishing or distribution on the internet) without the consent of the race organizer. However, photos and videos taken by racers and supporters for their own personal use is allowed.
2. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
In order to reduce energy consumption and lower carbon dioxide emissions, we ask for your cooperation by using public transportation or carpooling.
3. CONSIDERATION FOR OTHERS
We ask of you to please treat the local support and volunteer staff who help make this race possible with respect and appreciation.
4. EMERGENCY RESCUE & MEDICAL SUPPORT
- Rescue staff will be ready to provide emergency assistance out on the course when necessary. While the team is prepared to reach you within 3 hours, it may end up taking more time if we receive several rescue requests all at once, or if you stray off the course and can't locate you immediately. In such cases, it could take more than 6 hours to reach you.
- The emergency race headquarters have received many phone calls from racers out on the race course asking us to pick them up because they won't be able to make the cutoff time and want to drop out of the race. We cannot cater to these type of requests and ask you to please consider very carefully whether you are really in need of emergency assistance before calling. Non-emergency phone calls take up the time and resources of the emergency staff and also tie up the phone lines. This can result in detrimental delays when trying to rescue someone who has life threatening injuries and requires immediate emergency assistance.
- When calling the emergency race headquarters, please have your detailed maps ready so that you can explain where you are located.
- The numbers on the detailed maps (for example "B05"), correspond to the numbers on the signs found along the race course. When calling for emergency assistance, please tell the emergency staff the number on the map/sign so that they can locate you and dispatch assistance immediately.
- If deemed necessary, the race organizer may call for outside emergency help from third parties. In this case, payment of the rescue costs incurred will be the responsibility of the person that was rescued.
- Race medical doctors and/or staff may decide that you need to be sent to a hospital to get treatment. In such a case, any medical costs incurred is your (the racer's) responsibility. Getting back to the finish line and paying for transportation back from the hospital is also the responsibility of the racer.
- If you are picked up by staff along the race course by car and don't need to be taken to a hospital, the race organizer will drop you off at the closest aid/water station. In this case, you will be considered to have dropped out of the race/disqualified and must return your IC timing chips at the aid station.
- While the race organizer is enrolled in liability insurance and race cancellation insurance, we strongly recommend that you purchase your own insurance to cover emergency rescue and medical costs.
The liability insurance coverage (limit) provided by the race is as follows:
Death & Disability: 5,000,000 Japanese Yen
Hospitalization: 3,000 Japanese Yen (per day)
Hospital Treatment: 2,000 Japanese Yen (per day)
5. RACE COURSE MARKERS & SIGNS
- Race course signs and markers will be set up just before the race and will be immediately removed after the race.
- Please use your detailed course maps (part of your mandatory equipment) to quickly find your back onto the course if you end up losing your way.
- Make sure your read through your detailed maps beforehand to get to know the course.
6. RACE CANCELLATION
- The race organizer reserves the right to cancel or cut-short/stop the race for the following reasons. In such a case, the race course cannot be changed to continue the race, nor will the race be postponed to a later date.
- Severe weather warnings sent out by the meteorological agency.
- The inability of the race to ensure runner and staff safety due to risks such as landslides and rockfalls along the course.
- Natural disasters (or warnings of natural disasters issued by the "Tokai Earthquake Prediction Information" and “Tokai Earthquake Warning Information” centers).
- The expectation of environmental damage to the course by runners because of bad weather.
- The race organizer may also stop or cancel the race for any other reasons judged to be appropriate given the circumstances.
- The decision as to whether or not the race will be cancelled will be made on the day before the race or on the day of the race. This will be communicated via the official race website. A SMS text message will also be sent out to the phone number you provided to the race.
7. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STUDY AFTER THE RACE
There will be race course clean-up events both before and after the race. While participation is not mandatory, we encourage all runners to come help us out and support the race by participating in these clean-up events. See below for our 2015 environmental clean-up report:
The race will continue to conduct environmental impact studies along the race course based on the guidelines put out by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment.
8. CANCELLATIONS & RACE CATEGORY CHANGES
- Entry fees cannot be refunded (fully or partially) and the race category you signed up for cannot be changed for whatever reason once you’ve registered for the race.
- If you’ve signed up for the race through the Japanese registration system and opted to pay via bank transfer, you must make the payment by the payment deadline or your registration will be cancelled. If we receive a bank transfer after the payment deadline, your entry will be automatically cancelled and your payment will be returned to you minus a service charge.
- Your entry (race bib) cannot be transferred to another person.
9. AFTER THE RACE
- There will be a resting area at the finish area but you may not sleep there as this space is very limited and will be used by many racers.
- Please make sure you book accommodations for the duration of the race so that you have a place to stay after you finish the race or if you end up dropping out or getting disqualified from the race.
- If you end up stopping (dropping out or getting disqualified from the race), you can go back to the finish line using the official race shuttle buses or with your supporter by car. If you take a taxi, it is at your own expense.
- After the race, your drop bags will be transported to the finish line. While we plan to have them delivered by the evening of the second day of the race (Saturday), delivery may be delayed.
- Please make sure you keep your race bib with you as you will need to show it in order to pick up your drop bag at the finish area. If you need to leave early and are unable to pick up your drop bag, please go to the Information Booth to purchase and fill out a courier slip so that it can be delivered to you.